Skill and Scale Up: Technologymanagement

Technologiemanagement – The foundation for entrepreneurial research & development

Long-term success requires strategic planning and further development - this applies to companies in all sectors. A competitive European battery market is based on entrepreneurial action that is geared towards the market and targets fixed goals such as sustainability, technological progress, cell quality and effective production. With our twelfth blog article of the information campaign "skill and scale up", we move to the third and final research area of the lecture: corporate development and strategy. This week's focus is on innovation and technology management.

What do solid-state or sodium-ion batteries, dry coating, and mini-environments share? All four are new technological developments that could revolutionize the battery production of tomorrow. To survive the race against time on the market, companies along the battery cell production value chain must know their environment and trends, know how to assess them, and determine their innovation potential. Technology and innovation management can show the way here.

What is Technologymanagement about?

All activities for the analysis, planning, and control of technology-heavy corporate processes, such as the production of battery cells, which are aimed at the further development of a company, can be summarized under the term "technology management". This includes the development, organization, areas of application, and commercialization of the technology. The following core processes define the front end of technology management:

1. Market Analysis and Trend Assessment

The first step is to take stock of the market: which technologies already exist? Which competitors? What are the future needs of potential customers? To what extent are the effects of megatrends on the use of technology assessed? The more profound your oTo start with, it's important to evaluate the market by analyzing the existing technologies and competitors. You should also consider the future needs of potential customers and assess the impact of megatrends on technology adoption. By having a thorough understanding of the environment, trends, and competition, you can better focus your research and development efforts on the most promising areas. 

2. Analysis of the Competencies and Areas of Expertise of your Company

This is followed by a look at your skills: This provides a structured overview of all the elements that contribute to the added value of your service. It now becomes clear where the necessary expertise is already available. At the same time, a capacitive framework should be defined for further developments in innovation capability. First, you should evaluate your skills. This will give you a structured overview of all the elements that contribute to the added value of your service. You will be able to identify the areas where you already have the necessary expertise, as well as define a framework for further developments in innovation capability.

3. Technologystrategy

Once the external environment for market structure and trends has been analyzed and the company's competencies have been assessed, the insights gained are used to formulate a corporate strategy. To ensure that decisions are well-coordinated and aligned with the strategy, a technology strategy is implemented as a 'guard rail'. This strategy defines clear criteria for further action, which helps to optimize the deployment of resources and activities in a more targeted and efficient way. After analyzing the external environment for market structure and trends, as well as taking stock of the company's competencies, the knowledge gained is transferred into a corporate strategy. A technology strategy acts as a 'guard rail' for corporate decisions and standardizes decisions by defining clear criteria for further action. In this way, resources and activities are deployed more efficiently and in a more targeted manner.

In search of innovations - technology scouting

Technology scouting is an essential approach in the early phase of innovation management, which aims to identify pioneering technologies at an early stage and search for solutions to integrate them into the company's value creation. This proactive approach involves systematically monitoring the global market to identify relevant trends, developments, and emerging innovations. A typical procedure for this is to define search criteria and search methods, evaluate new information, and communicate it to the company. It is helpful to visualize the results in a so-called "technology radar" (see illustration). Paths for substitution technologies and new approaches to problem solutions can be depicted in a TRIZ matrix.


Technology studies: A strategic framework for decision-making in battery cell production

An analysis format that has already been tried and tested several times by Fraunhofer FFB's technology management team identifies technological development potential and thus establishes comparability for strategic selection decisions. Such technology studies have already been carried out for some selected core topics of innovative battery cell production: Starting with technical mechanisms for dry coating of electrode foils to technologies for accelerated cell assembly, electrolyte filling, more energy-efficient drying technologies and barriers on the way to solid-state cells.

Examples and Offers of Technologymanagement at Fraunhofer FFB

Research project with tesa

Technology study: Coating and winding of battery cells